Glenn Sparkman has not had a large number of good starts for the Royals. He has been particularly bad against Cleveland. Tonight he was even worse. A grand slam to Jason Kipnis in the first inning, a solo shot to Francisco Lindor in the second, and a three-run home run to Jose Ramirez in the fifth inning accounted for most of the Cleveland scoring. The grand slam, which came four batters into the game, was enough to win all on its own.
Mike Clevinger had a pretty good game. It was far from the best he’s had against KC, but when “far from the best” describes a game you struck out seven and allowed only a single run over the course of seven innings en route to winning your fourth game in five starts, you have to feel pretty good about yourself.
The Royals did create several scoring opportunities for themselves but, for the most part, Clevinger worked around them. The single run was scored when Whit Merrifield hit an RBI single to score Cheslor Cuthbert. But the inning also ended when Mike Jirschele made the questionable decision to send Bubba Starling home. He was gunned down relatively easily.
Since the game was a blowout from very early on the Royals went to their new additions for relief innings. Richard Lovelady tossed an inning where he allowed a run on three hits and struck out one. Kyle Zimmer added two scoreless innings with two strikeouts. Josh Staumont finished things off with a 1-2-3 ninth inning where he struck out one and walked none. Finishing an appearance without walking someone is something that has only happened in 25 of his previous 147 games pitched across all levels.
The Royals will try to avoid the sweep, tomorrow. Danny Duffy will face off against Trevor Bauer. Hopefully it’s a better game than this one was.